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Academic year: 2022



Texto completo












3. CONTEXT ... 13






9. REFERENCES ... 45

10. APPENDICES ... 49

APPENDIX 1: Task Assessment Instruments ... 49

APPENDIX 2: Linguistic Model ... 54

APPENDIX 3: Cultural Model ... 57

APPENDIX 4: Personal Growth Model ... 64

APPENDIX 5: Planning ... 67

APPENDIX 6: Video Editing ... 69

APPENDIX 7: Public Presentation ... 70

APPENDIX 8: Assessment ... 71

APPENDIX 9: PR4 exam ... 72



The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that reading authentic literary material in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom can improve students’ language learning skills as well as increase their comprehension level. For that purpose, in this proposal of improvement implemented in a classroom with students with learning difficulties, it is used a methodology based on learning language including a cultural and a personal growth approach as well as suitable linguistic exercises for their characteristics.

The theoretical framework of this paper includes an analysis of the importance of reading in our daily lives as citizens and as language learners. The main section includes a reflection upon literature and the benefits of reading authentic literature for learning purposes. In addition, there is a passage devoted to the difference between Intensive and Extensive Reading in the EFL classroom and their advantages for learners. Finally, the benefits of using Young Adult Literature (YAL) in the EFL classroom in contrast to Graded Readers are analysed.

Regarding the implementation of the Didactic Unit, the book selected to work on was The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. This novel belongs to the YAL genre since readers can make connections between the young protagonist experiences and their background knowledge. Besides, a historical, social and political analysis can be carried out, which is beneficial for students to see that literature is much more than words and language since it develops attitudes, ethos and critical spirit.

The results obtained in the implementation demonstrate the value and benefits of using YAL with adolescents for learning purposes.

Keywords: Reading, Literature, Young Adult Literature (YAL), English as a Foreign Language (EFL), teaching.



In this work, the countless positive effects of introducing authentic literary material in the language classroom are detailed. More generally, reading literature improves students’ text comprehension and grammar and enriches their vocabulary as well. In addition, learners who read frequently attain greater confidence as readers and feel pleasure when reading.

When it comes to reading for language learning purposes, teachers must perform a thorough analysis about what type of books their students should read. Some institutions such as The Extensive Reading Foundation’s (2011), consider that using simplified adaptations or rewritings of classic literary works are the best way to improve students’ language skills. On the contrary, Henderson & Buskist (2011) stand up for the use of authentic materials linked to students’ interests such as Young Adult Literature (YAL). Both approaches are analysed in this work. However, it focuses on the benefits of using authentic materials in order to improve language skills in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom.

The aim of this dissertation is to treat the following concerns: (a) the importance of reading, (b) the benefits of reading real literature, (c) the difference between Extensive and Intensive reading, and (d) the advantages of using YAL in the EFL classroom. This work also includes the implementation of a Didactic Unit proposal, that was carried out following the three models’ approach proposed by Carter & Long in 1991 quoted in Clandfield (2011).

This methodology is based on learning language including a cultural and a personal growth approach combined with suitable linguistic exercises according to students’ characteristics.

Finally, the purpose of this work is to place value on the power of authentic literature such as YAL in the EFL classroom with a group with learning difficulties. According to Carter (2007), real literature “encourages learners to be active participants in and explorers of the linguistic and cultural processes both with an awareness of and an interest in the process itself” (p. 10).





Reading is an action that we do every day; it takes part in our daily lives. It is an important factor in “personal development, and to social, economic and civil life” (Holden, 2004, quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006, p. 5). In addition, it also teaches us about subjects that must be mastered at school such as history, language, science, etc. Without reading, people cannot be an active part of the society because it is necessary for most of the social and cultural activities (Clark & Rumbold, 2006).

According to Berardo (2006), reading has three functions: for survival, for learning, and for pleasure. The first one is considered to be the reply to our environment or to detect information such as street signs or timetables. The second one is normally carried out at school and it is guided by the teacher. However, the third one “is something that does not have to be done” (p. 61). It refers to the pleasure we feel when reading willingly.

The processing of reading can be performed in two ways, either Top-Down or Bottom- Up (Berardo, 2006). On the one hand, Top-Down reading occurs when the reader obtains a global meaning of the text. This happens due to the “clues” in the text and the good schema knowledge of the reader. This process is often related to good readers. On the other hand, Bottom-Up processing takes place when the reader reinforces meaning by reading each word, analysing very carefully both vocabulary and syntax. This process is normally linked to poor or slow readers. Both processes have to occur in order to obtain an interactive process; “Top- Down to predict the meaning and Bottom-Up to check it” (p. 61).

According to Clark & Rumbold (2006), reading improves students’ text comprehension and grammar and it helps students to acquire a wide range of vocabulary. In addition, when students acquire the reading habit, they feel greater confidence as readers and experiment a sense of pleasure when reading in later life. In this article, they also compile other benefits stated by other authors previously. Krashen (1993, quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006) declares that reading ameliorates the ability of reading and writing both in and out of the school. By comparison, McKenna & Kear (1990, quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006) propose that positive reading attitudes are linked to achievement in reading.



There is evidence that reading also increases our general knowledge and our better understanding of other cultures. Moreover, it has also been demonstrated that people who read naturally tend to participate more in their communities and have a greater insight into human nature and decision-making (Clark & Rumbold, 2006). Another study determines that books help readers to understand different people or cultures and encourages them to learn more about new subjects. This study also proves that books encourage readers to try new hobbies (Nestlé Family Monitor, 2003, quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006). Some authors even state that reading for pleasure can promote or enhance social skills in children and combat feelings of loneliness in adults (Rane-Szostak & Herth, 1995 quoted in Clark &

Rumbold, 2006).

As outlined in the previous lines, reading has many advantages. Nevertheless, engaging students in the reading dynamics can be complex. It is extremely important to bear in mind the goals of this action. According to Clark & Rumbold (2006), there is an important factor:

motivation, which can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

According to Ryan & Deci (2000), intrinsic motivation “refers to engagement in an activity based on personal interests in the activity” (quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006, p.

18). This means that readers with an intrinsic motivation can find more easily a wide range of topics that produce an interest in them and feel a sense of pleasure. It has been demonstrated that intrinsic reading motivation is related to a major frequency of reading and to a greater reading enjoyment. It also helps readers to retain the key information and gain a major perseverance in coping with reading difficulties.

Wigfield & Guthrie (1997) outline that there are four factors of intrinsic motivation that ought to be taken into account. The first one refers to the importance we give to reading. As teachers, we must ensure that our students believe that reading is a valuable act. The second factor is related to curiosity. We must allow our students to feel the “desire of learning about a particular topic of personal interest” (quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006, p. 18). The third one is linked to the involvement, the enjoyment of reading determined texts. Finally, the fourth is the preference for challenging reading. When readers select a difficult text, they experiment “the satisfaction of mastering or assimilating complex ideas” (quoted in Clark &

Rumbold, 2006, p. 18).



By contrast, extrinsic motivation “involves engagement in an activity in response to external values and demands” (Clark & Rumbold, 2006, p. 18). For instance, students read in order to avoid teachers’ punishments or to achieve school and parents’ expectations. When this sort of situations takes place, students are extrinsically motivated because their need to read is controlled by an external agent. Therefore, those students may not read because they have an interest but because they want to achieve certain results. Wigfield & Guthrie (1997, quoted in Clark & Rumbold, 2006) stated that three aspects compose extrinsic motivation:

recognition, grades, and competition. These aspects are defined as follows:

 Reading for recognition: “pleasure for receiving a tangible form of recognition for success” (p. 18).

 Reading for grades: “the desire to be favourably evaluated by the teacher” (p. 18).

 Competition (in reading): “the desire to outperform others in reading” (p. 18).

In these days, most of the reading activities performed in the EFL classroom are related to an extrinsic motivation. Initially, having an external agent to make students read is not negative. Nevertheless, we must ensure that our students enjoy reading tasks and eventually reading will be carried out by an intrinsic motivation.

Reading always has a purpose; in this case, ameliorate English learners’ language skills using real literature in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom.

Different meanings can be attributed to the term literature. According to Macmillan dictionary, literature is “stories, poems, and plays, especially those that are considered to have value as art and not just entertainment”. A broader meaning considers that “literary texts are products that reflect different aspects of the society” but after all, “literature is only literature if it is considered as art” (Clandfield, 2011, p.1).

This means that, ultimately, literature depends on us. We are the ones who consider a written text, a picture, a sound or any manifestation as “art”. Art is dreaming and as Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa affirmed in his Nobel lecture, “the magic of translating the words in books into images [enriches everybody’s] life, breaking the barriers of time and space” (p. 1).



Translation theorist and scholar of comparative literature Susan Bassnett (1945) considers that reading habits have changed. In the last decades, new forms of entertainment such as television, radio, Internet, etc. have appeared. Nevertheless, literature is the oldest one since it was born in year 3,500 BCE with writing. Up to this new era, people considered reading as an act of enjoyment because they “had no alternative to reading” (Bassnett, 2005, p. 205). For this reason, Bassnett considers that people from her generation are able to keep more time concentrated and had fewer difficulties when reading long texts. This means that they took extensive reading as a habit. For this author, “it is pointless to expect students to read at the same pace as previous generations did, and changes have to be made to the curriculum to reflect this” (p. 209).

Reading literature, apart from being an excellent mind training, makes us free. “Without fictions we would be less aware of the importance of freedom for life to

be liveable, the hell it turns into when it is trampled underfoot by a tyrant, an ideology, or a religion” (Vargas Llosa, 2010, p. 2).

Having said that, why do not we provide our children with this powerful weapon to fight against ignorance? In this cruel, egotistical, impersonal world, are they not allowed to dream?

Sharing my opinion with Bassnett (2005), current society and education make our children less thoughtful or curious. It is not just a matter of childhood, but of the whole society. It is said that today’s generations are the most prepared ones since we are living in the information era. Are we? If we think carefully about it, we would realise that we are the most insecure ones because our lives depend on a little device: our smartphones. Do we not know an address? Do we not know a word? Do we not know a shop’s telephone? The solution is always the same: we check it on the Internet. What about asking people? We do not make the effort to remember things because they are in our pocket.

For this reason, we have a responsibility as teachers: make our students think. One of the most powerful resource for this purpose is literature. In case of second language learning, it is very easy since there is a great variety of texts and text-types. Introducing literature to the curricula is “an opportunity to develop vocabulary acquisition, the development of reading strategies, and the training of critical thinking, that is, reasoning skills” (Kramsch &

Kramsch, 2000, quoted in Carter, 2007, p. 6).



Moreover, according to Clandfield (2011) there are several good reasons to introduce literature in the classroom:

 Literature is real material. It is positive for students to read authentic unmodified language due to the skills they acquire in the process of dealing with difficult language.

In addition, literature “facilitates the integration of the language skills. It can also offer predictable yet natural language which promotes word recognition, as well as opportunities for authentic reading and writing tasks, and it is not grammatically sequenced” (Ghosn, 2002, p. 174).

 Literature fosters interaction. Literature can have many interpretations. That is why sharing opinions or feelings can be very effective.

Moreover, “the excitement created by a good story is also likely to generate much more ‘pupil talk’ that the often rather artificial language texts” (Ghosn, 2002, p. 175).

 Literature enhances language awareness. Asking pupils to study mature or not standardised patterns of language, which can be found in literary texts, makes them more aware of the language norms.

Besides, literature involves academic literacy. In fact, “academic literacy also requires critical thinking skills, and literature offers a natural medium through which students can be introduced to the type of thinking and reasoning expected in academic classes” (Ghosn, 2002, p. 176).

 Literature trains the whole person. Values appearing in literary texts can make students relating them to their world out of the classroom.

 Literature motivates. Students can feel the sense of accomplishment at understanding a famous literary work. Most of the times, real literature is more interesting than texts that can be found in students’ course books.

EFL course books have often been reprimanded for being “stiff imitations of the dynamic spontaneity of real life”, their characters as “nice, decent, and characterless”, and the situations “generally unreal and dull” (Crystal, 1987, quoted in Ghosn, 2002, p. 175).



Another imperative reason to use literature in class, which is not included in the previous list, is using literature as a change agent. Using good literature in class has “the potential power to transform, to change attitudes, and help to eradicate prejudice while fostering empathy, tolerance, and an awareness of global problems” (Ghosn, 2002, p. 176). The same way as languages do, literature builds bridges across cultures.

This is directly linked to the emotional intelligence, which “is the understanding of feelings, both one’s own and those of others. The ability to use that knowledge in making decisions in life. It is also the ability to maintain an optimistic outlook in the face of difficulties” (Ghosn, 2002, p. 177).

It was not until 1995 when psychologist Daniel Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence when Education and Psychology started to consider it. “Emotional intelligence is learnt through experience, and interaction with others” (Goleman, 1995, quoted in Ghosn, 2002, p. 177). High quality literature can provide students with the experiences enhancing emotional intelligence. Reading literature enables students to understand themselves and the rest better, and it proves that there will always be hope; despite feeling that one cannot overcome some issues, there is always a way and it teaches students empathy and tolerance in the less favourable situations.

According to Ghosn (2002), “in the increasingly global world, language skills, intercultural awareness, and emotional intelligence are high priorities, especially in our struggle to create a more just and peaceful world” (p. 177).

At this point, it is important to consider how to implement literature in the EFL classroom.

There have been several approaches suggested for this purpose. One of the most effective and popular ones is the one which deals with three models: the cultural, the language and the personal growth (Carter & Long, 1991, quoted in Clandfield, 2011).

 The cultural model. This model takes the text as a product. In other words, “it is treated as a source of information about the target culture” (p. 2). This model analyses the social, historical and political background of the text. In this case, the approach is teacher-centred.



 The language model. In contrast to the previous model, the language model is learner- centred because as the students read a text, they pay attention to the language. They have to deal with the meaning and it helps to increase their English language awareness. In this model, the teacher can decide the purpose of using literature:

grammar, vocabulary, stylistic analysis, etc.

 The personal growth model. In the same vein as the preceding model, the personal growth model is learner-centered. The aim of this model is to stimulate students to have their own opinions, express their feelings and link personal experiences. This model tries to create an interaction between the literature and the reader in English, which would make the language experience to be more remarkable.

When we mention ‘reading’ in the context of the EFL classroom, there is a difference between ‘learning to read’ and ‘reading to learn’ (The Extensive Reading Foundation’s, 2011). ‘Read to learn’ (also known as ‘Intensive Reading’) refers to the act of reading in order to learn something about language, for instance, new words or grammar. This action requires great attention to the text so that students arrive at a deep and detailed understanding of the text. Many textbooks contain this common activity and the passages to work on are often short. The texts are short in order to be studied in a lesson or two because if they were longer, students would forget them in the following lessons. Typically, there are pre- and post- reading activities as well as questions regarding the comprehension. This type of reading also refers to ‘reading for accuracy’ (Nuttall, 1982) and for this purpose, this approach needs the close guidance of the teacher and must be carried out in the classroom.

On the contrary, when students ‘learn to read’ (also known as ‘Extensive Reading’), they are improving their reading skills. The aim of Extensive Reading is to build reading fluency and confidence (Ur, 2012). It “involves encouraging learners to read a range of materials, read them quickly and well, for pleasure and for learning development” (Ellis & McRae, 1991, p. 5). Extensive Reading also promotes reading at home since class time is not enough to develop this reading skill. However, according to Nuttall (1982), some time should be devoted in the classroom to Extensive Reading both “to maintain interest in it and to train students how to deal with full-length texts” (p. 23). This is especially important for “those



students who have not acquired the reading habit and are often daunted by books and need the guidance and encouragement” (p. 23).

According to The Extensive Reading Foundation’s (2011), there are several reasons why Extensive Reading is positive for language development:

 Enables the student to meet the language in a natural context and analyse how it works in an extended discourse. This is completely different from the language students met in textbooks.

 Offers new vocabulary. Eventually, students master new words and are able to predict what grammar and vocabulary may come next.

 Improves students’ reading speed and fluency. This helps students to process the language automatically and leave space in memory for other things.

 Creates confidence, motivation, enjoyment, and love of reading. This makes students more effective as language users and helps to lower possible anxieties about language learning.

 Allows students to read and listen to great amounts of English. It helps them develop good reading and listening habits.

 Gives students a sense of how grammatical patterns work in specific contexts.

When teachers decide to introduce Extensive Reading in the EFL classroom, they are determined to transform students who read because they are forced to do so into people who enjoy and feel pleasure when reading. We attempt to create a ‘reading culture’ among our students.

In order to implement an Extensive Reading programme in the EFL classroom, we need to follow the following principles (Ur, 2012):

1. A wide range of reading material must be available for students.

2. The selection of the book is up to the student. The teacher can make suggestions to the students but it is very important that each student choose his or her own reading material.

3. If a student does not like the reading material or find it too difficult, he or she is allowed to change it for another.



4. The aim of reading should not be a task from the teacher or the textbook but reading to feel enjoyment and interest.

5. The teacher must not be the centre of this approach. His or her role is to encourage students to read, to help them to choose and to be their model as a good reader.

Any change involves an effort and some teachers, schools or institutions are reluctant to do so. These practical problems can be related to time, money or monitoring.

Teachers argue that due to the administrative pressure on covering a syllabus, there is no time left for Extensive Reading because in this activity there is not an assessment. In addition, some institutions do not have the necessary budget in order to create a varied library and update it. Monitoring students during the reading process can be an obstacle for teachers as well. Sometimes it is difficult to know if the learners are actually reading the books they have chosen (Ur, 2012).

Nevertheless, it is not necessary to assess students with a test in order to know if they have read a book. Discussions, book trailers, book clubs, etc. can help teachers to notice whether students keep reading the book that they have chosen.

As a matter of fact, Intensive and Extensive Reading must not be considered as opposite methodologies. They have different serves but the purposes are complementary.

Having considered the benefits of reading, reading literature and Extensive Reading in the EFL classroom, now it is necessary to think about what to read.

There are many teachers who decide to introduce literature in the EFL classroom by using Graded Readers. These are books “written especially for language learners to build their reading speed and fluency and to give them chances to practice ‘real’ reading for pleasure”

(The Extensive Reading Foundation’s, 2011, p. 2). In addition, this type of ‘literature’ is written according to a syllabus with increasing levels of difficulty. Graded Readers have several difficulty levels: from’Starter’ to ‘Advanced’. Normally, “they complement and recycle much of the language students would meet in their textbooks” (p. 2).

However, is it better to use modified language (Graded Readers) or authentic material for language learning purposes?



Young Adult Literature (YAL) is authentic material characterised by “themes that adolescents find engaging” (Henderson & Buskist, 2011, p. 231). Some studies demonstrate that self-selected YAL promoted adolescents’ intrinsic motivation, since “their voices and interests are reflected in the texts they are reading” (Lapp & Fisher, 2009, quoted in Byrne, 2011, p. 223).

According to Bull (2011), the connections between YAL and adolescents’ lives enables them to “draw on their personal, social, and literary experiences in order to read meaningfully” (quoted in Byrne, 2011, p. 224). In addition, when readers make these connections, they are linking them “within, among, and outside of the texts they are reading”

(quoted in Byrne, 2011, p. 224). Therefore, when adolescents connect with the text in a personal and meaningful way, their interest increase, and they are able to comprehend at deeper levels. Letcher & Bull (2009) state that “these connections among and outside of texts enable readers to become personally involved and interested in the texts they are reading”

(quoted in Byrne, 2011, p. 224).

For these reasons, it is important that teachers bear it in mind and introduce literature in the EFL classroom. It is essential to prepare teachers to provide students with rich literary opportunities to facilitate a student-centred approach which teaches students “how to read, think, make connections, and take action” (Bull, 2011, p. 229). It also makes it easier to improve the active reading process by promoting students’ reading awareness.

On balance, introducing YAL in the EFL classroom is an excellent option in order to engage adolescents in language awareness and critical thinking. YAL is an accessible option for them and will allow students to figure out the world which is around them, to make decisions about their own lives, and to learn how they can affect in this changing society.



The fundamental element in the future teachers training is the Practicum or internship. It will allow the students to gain experience in planning, teaching and evaluating the subjects corresponding to each specialization. In order to do so, they will have to demonstrate a good command of oral and written skills in the teaching practice. Students must also show mastery in the social skills needed to foster a climate that facilitates learning and cohabitation. Interns must also participate in the proposals for improvement in the different situations making a reflection based on the practice (Universitat Jaume I, 2017).

The internship period consisted of two phases: the first one lasted three weeks (from 8th January to 26th January 2018), whereas the second one lasted five weeks (from 16th April to 21st May 2018). In the first period, the interns were supposed to observe the teaching techniques and start planning their Didactic Unit with the aid of their tutors, whilst the second period was devoted to carrying out the Didactic Unit.

I chose IES Penyagolosa for my internship since it was the secondary school where I studied ESO and Batxillerat. This public secondary school is located in Rafalafena’s neighbourhood in Castelló de la Plana. This is a residential area where we can find small businesses and several public spaces such as schools, another secondary school, a health centre or a public library.

Concerning the socioeconomic level, the prevailing class is the middle-class, even though a part of the society presents a lower profile. In addition, in this area, we can find an important number of immigrants as well as certain groups of gipsies. The reality of the school is a reflection of the heterogeneous society that we can find in the neighbourhood.

During my internship, I had the chance of working with groups from diverse educative levels. I attended 2nd ESO, 3PMAR, PR4, 1st Batxillerat and 2nd Batxillerat classes. It is important to say that 3PMAR and PR4 belong to a special programme created in 2016 (which would correspond to 3rd and 4th ESO) by Generalitat Valenciana and it is considered as an extraordinary measure for attention to diversity.

The aim of this plan is to ameliorate the apprenticeship and efficiency of students who have serious difficulties and show interest in obtaining the ESO graduate. Apart from the previous requirements, the guidance department must assess the students with a psychoeducational evaluation and consider



together with the teaching staff if they can be members of the programme. The groups taking part in this programme can have 10 people minimum and 16 maximum. Regarding the programming and the curricular concretion, the corresponding teacher will elaborate on it. Nevertheless, the teacher can be advised by the didactic departments as well as by the guidance department (Ordre 38/2016).

I agreed to implement my Didactic Unit in PR4 as, in my opinion, was a group that would take profit from this experience. The range of ages in this group was as varied as their learning processes.

The youngest student was 16 and the oldest 19. The spectrum of the learning process of each student was different and it supposed a pedagogical challenge. In this group, we could find a student suffering from Asperger’s syndrome and two of them suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The rest had no disorders but their curricula knowledge was very limited. Taking into account the characteristics of the group, the curricula of every subject is adapted. In the case of English as a Foreign Language, the teacher should programme the classes from a communicative approach that foresees an adequate content organisation and methodology so that students can achieve the objectives of this subject. However, the number of hours devoted to the Foreign Language is limited since students only have two hours per week (Ordre 38/2016).

Generally, the atmosphere of the group was positive but their motivation was low. It is important to mention that in the English lessons they just followed an activity book. This book had grammatical explanations in Spanish; therefore, the students could understand the grammar rules.



As mentioned, I used excerpts from the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.

I selected this book due to the simplicity of the language and its plot, which deals with issues such as the Holocaust, the innocence of children, the consequences of firm beliefs or the human condition.

I read this book in Catalan as a young girl and it caused a huge impact on me. As a consequence, I started reading historical novels dealing with the Holocaust such as Diari (Frank, 2014), Un sac de billes (Joffo, 1982), Auschwitz explicat a la meva filla (Wieviorka, 2010), The Book Thief (Zusak, Corduner, & Cresswell, 2006), etc.

Moreover, this interest increased when my secondary school participated in an exchange with Polish students in 2011. I had the chance to take part in it and I went to Poland twice.

This exchange had two parts: the first one in Poland, learning in situ about the Second World War history, and the second part in Berlin, learning about the consequences of the Second World War and the Cold War.

In Poland, we visited Auschwitz’s concentration camp and it was the most shocking experience of my life. Having read several books about the Holocaust and the Second World War enabled me to imagine how life was there, however, listening to the silence was far more terrifying than reading.

As noted in the previous section, the students of this group follow a very basic syllabus and I wanted them to be conscious of what happened in our continent eighty years ago. My purpose was using Young Adult Literature to improve their language skills as well as stimulate their curiosity about the topic inciting the debate and the reflection which were complemented by the use of real material such as propaganda from the Second World War, reviews about the book, shocking images, etc.

As teachers, we must demonstrate to students that they are able to use their own background knowledge when reading. In order to do so, we can prepare students for reading with activities suggesting “previewing, predicting, guessing the meaning of unknown words and developing vocabulary” (Ellis & McRae, 1991, p. 7). In the end, reading must be an interaction between the text and the reader. This means that the reader has an active role in



the action: “the reader is actively involved and will often have to work to get the meaning out” (Nuttall, 1982, p. 9).

In case of adolescents, some of them can “be reluctant to invest effort” (Ur, 2012, p. 264).

Even though they have a major learning potential, we have to take into account the specific problems they can have in this period: identity, relationships, physical changes, etc. All of this can cause important distractions and makes it harder for them to concentrate.

In an inclusive methodology, we must consider the different abilities our students might have. On the one hand, each student has several talents and abilities which, as teachers, we should value. According to Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (1983), all the students are intelligent since every student has different types of intelligence (linguistic, interpersonal, spatial, etc.). On the other hand, we must accept that in the same classroom we can find different cognitive abilities. It can be due to their motivation, a specific learning disability or a personal emotional problem (Ur, 2012). In any case, we cannot ignore them.

Concerning the election of the excerpts from the book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I chose three specific texts because of the message as well as for the simplicity of the language (see the text in Appendices 2, 3 and 4). They were also short so that students did not feel stressed or overwhelmed when reading. Even though the choice was difficult, those three excerpts fill in the goals of this Didactic Unit: using literary texts in order to improve students’ language awareness, culture and personal growth.

As Ordre 38/2016 (Conselleria d’Educació, Investigació, 2016) states, PR4 curricula must be adapted to the students’ difficulties and take into account their different abilities.

Nevertheless, in this case, the only special pedagogical measure was an easier activity book containing grammar explanations in Spanish. From my point of view, it is important to have adapted material but the methodology must change as well.





Get off your pyjamas and read

LEVEL: PR4 AREA: English DURATION: 3 sessions

DESCRIPTION OF THE TASK. The aim of this Didactic Unit (DU) is to make students reflect upon the advantages of introducing literature into the EFL classroom. Thanks to this DU, students will realize that by using literary texts their language level, their cultural knowledge and even their personal growth can improve. Through the application of this DU, students will acquire the objectives, contents and competences established by Currículum ESO-Batxillerat of Comunitat Valenciana, which is regulated by the Decret 87/2015 (Generalitat Valenciana, 2015).

The main idea is to introduce literary texts throughout intensive reading in the EFL classroom so that students can be in touch with real literature and as a consequence, real English. The excerpts from the book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne will help students to increase their knowledge of English while at the same time, we will give them the opportunity to learn about some cultural issues (in this case, the Holocaust) and to contribute to their emotional development (in this DU we will work on discrimination).

The present DU is planned to be carried out in 8 sessions, taking into account that the duration of one class is 55 minutes.

Nevertheless, only three sessions could be implemented during the internship period due to time and availability reasons.

In respect to the structure of the DU, this is a general summary:

 Linguistic model (1 session; activity 1)

 Cultural model (1 session; activity 2)

 Personal growth model (1 session; activity 3)

 Planning (2 sessions; activity 4)

 Video editing (1 session; active, activity 5)

 Public presentation (1 session; activity 6)

 Assessment (1 session; activity 7)


18 The competences that the students will acquire with this DU are:

1. CCLI: competència lingüística

2. CAA: competència d’aprendre a aprendre 3. CEC: consciència i expressions culturals

4. SIEE: sentit de la iniciativa i esperit emprenedor 5. CD: compètencia digital

6. CSC: competencia social i cívica





55 minutes






Observes Reads Reflects Answers Reads Recognizes Creates

Stimulates PERSONAL thinking

Stimulates SOCIAL thinking

Make students use


POINT learned Make students be CREATIVE in the statements to be reported

1 session Screen Projector Computer Video Excerpt Reviews Ball

Individual Big group English class First, the trailer of the film The

Boy in the Striped Pyjamas based on the book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is watched with no audio (Ex. 1.1.). Then the students read a series of short reviews from the book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas on the classroom walls (Ex. 1.2.) and they are asked about the topic of the book (Ex. 1.3.).

Then, the students read the excerpt (Ex. 1.4.) and try to situate it in the story (1.5.). Then, the grammar point is explained and an oral activity is made (Ex. 1.6.). Finally, the parts of the text written in direct speech are transformed into indirect speech (Ex. 1.7.).

1.1. Watch the trailer in silence.

1.2. Read the reviews from the wall

1.3. Talk about the topic of the book

1.4. Read the excerpt 1.5. Situate the excerpt in the book

1.6. Report the speech of a classmate

1.7. Transform sentences from the excerpt into reported speech


Identifies Analyses Reads Recognises Reflects

Stimulates GROUP thinking

Stimulates PERSONAL thinking

Makes students reflect upon their SOCIAL


1 session Screen Projector Computer Book about propaganda from the Second World War


Individual Big group English class First, the students identify the

meaning of the words of the tag cloud (Ex. 2.1.). Then, they are shown a series of Nazi propaganda posters and think about the influence of propaganda (Ex. 2.2.).

Next, the students read the excerpt (Ex. 2.3.) and situate it in the book (Ex. 2.4.). Finally, they play a quiz containing the grammar point from the previous session (Ex.


2.1. Identify and define the words on the tag cloud.

2.2. Analyse the Nazi propaganda.

2.3. Read the excerpt 2.4. Situate the excerpt in the book.

2.5. Answer to the questions of the quiz.




Groups Reflects

Reads Recognises Reflects Reads aloud

Guides the SOCIAL group interaction Stimulates GROUP thinking

Stimulates PERSONAL thinking

Makes students think about their SOCIAL


1 session Stickers Excerpt Paper Pen

Individual Big group English class First, a dynamic with stickers is

done (Ex. 3.1. and 3.2.). Then, the students read the text individually (Ex. 3.3.) and situate it on the book (Ex. 3.4.). After that, they are asked to write their thoughts (Ex.

3.5.) and then share them with the group (Ex. 3.6.).

3.1. Group with the classmates in silence.

3.2. Reflect upon the result of the dynamic with the stickers.

3.3. Read the excerpt individually.

3.4. Situate the excerpt in the book.

3.5. Write their thoughts in a paper

3.6. Share their thoughts with the group.

4. PLANNING (2 sessions)

Groups Orders Watches Plans

Guides the GROUP FORMATION Supervises the ACKNOWLEDGE MENT of the story Stimulates


2 sessions Excerpts of the summary of the book Computer Projector Book trailer samples

Groups English class First, the students are divided into

two groups (Ex. 4.1.). Then, several excerpts of the book summary are on the floor and the students must put them in order (Ex. 4.2.). After that, the teacher explains what a book trailer is and shows some examples (Ex. 4.3.).

Then, they start planning how their book trailer will be (Ex. 4.4.).

4.1. Make groups

4.2. Put in order the excerpts to get the summary of the book.

4.3. Watch some examples of book trailers.

4.4. Plan how the book trailer will be.

In this session, the students must have already decided the structure and the content of their book trailer. During this session, the teacher corrects possible mistakes and clarifies any doubt (Ex. 4.5.).

4.5. Ask doubts to the teacher.

Asks doubts Stimulates GROUP thinking

Guides the


Guides the


Computers Groups IT class

5. VIDEO EDITING (1 session)

Edits the video Suggests being CREATIVE

1 session Computers Video camera

Groups IT class Together with the IT department,

the IT students will help the

5.1. Edit the video.



English students to edit their book trailer. The students introduce audio, images, drawings or any other source they have for their book trailer (Ex. 5.1.). The teacher corrects any possible mistake.



Shows Watches Explains

Makes students




1 session Computers Screen Projector Speaker

Groups English class The students share their book

trailer with their classmates and post it on YouTube (Ex. 6.1.).

They give an explanation of the reasons they have done their book trailer that way (Ex. 6.2).

6.1. Each group shows its book trailer.

6.2. Each group explains its book trailer.

7. ASSESSMENT (1 session)

Writes Stimulates


1 session Pen Paper

English class The students write a letter to an

imaginary friend to tell him or her what they have done in this UD (Ex. 7.1.).

7.1. Write a letter.




CONTENTS Based on Document


(Generalitat Valenciana, n.d.-b)


(Generalitat Valenciana, n.d.-a)


STANDARDS (Generalitat Valenciana, n.d.-c)




ORAL COMPREHENSION Estratègies de producció i

interacció escrita.


Mobilització i coordinació de les pròpies competències generals i comunicatives a fi de realitzar eficaçment la tasca (generar idees sobre un tema i seleccionar-ne els recursos adequats).

Localització i ús adequat de recursos lingüístics o temàtics. Selecció crítica de la informació per a fonamentar les idees de la producció escrita.


Utilització d’oracions de diferent longitud i estructura i de major complexitat per a organitzar el text amb la suficient cohesió interna i coherència.


Reajustament de la tasca o del missatge.

4t.LA.BL1.1. Identificar, aplicant estratègies de comprensió oral, la informació essencial, les idees principals i els detalls més rellevants en textos orals de longitud mitjana i estructurada, en diferents suports, i articulats a velocitat mitjana, sobre temes generals o menys habituals, en els àmbits personal, públic, educatiu i ocupacional, i en els seus corresponents registres, en condicions acústiques que no distorsionen el missatge.


Identifica estratègies de comprensió en textos orals de longitud mitjana, aplicant tècniques d’escolta activa, com ara fer preguntes per a connectar amb les idees d’altres, mostrar empatia, no fer judicis de valor, parafrasejar, emetre reforços o resumir per a aclarir.


Identifica la informació essencial, les idees principals en textos sobre temes generals o

menys habituals, en els àmbits personal, públic, educatiu i ocupacional.


All the

activities of the didactic unit

Test: participation is taken into account.

Proceeding: direct observation of the students’ level of involvement and accuracy in their actions.


Checklist 1 and Rubric 1.


Establiment i manteniment de la comunicació i organització del discurs:

rectificar el que s’ha dit o

4t.LA. BL1.3. Distingir les funcions comunicatives del nivell i les estructures morfosintàctiques


Identifica les estructures

morfosintàctiques i




parafrasejar-ho per a solucionar un problema de comunicació.

Petició i oferiment d’informació, indicacions, opinions, punts de vista.

Expressió de sentiments com ara la indiferència, l’admiració, la simpatia o l’aversió.

Plantejar queixes, tranquil·litzar i animar.

Expressió de símptomes i sensacions físiques.

associades, així com l'organització textual i el lèxic, expressions i modismes d’ús freqüent i més específic per a la comprensió de textos orals de longitud mitjana, clarament estructurats i en diferents suports.

discursives adequades al nivell i les relaciona amb la seua funció.

EXPRESSION AND INTERACTION Estratègies de producció i

interacció oral.


Producció del missatge amb claredat, distingint la idea o idees principals i la seua estructura bàsica.

Confiança en si mateix i assertivitat en la presentació d’idees i opinions en debats i discussions.

Petició d’ajuda.

Tècniques d’expressió oral (assenyalar objectes, usar díctics o realitzar accions que aclarisquen el significat).

Ús del llenguatge corporal culturalment pertinent:

gestos, expressions facials, postures, contacte

visual o corporal, proxèmica.

4t.LA. BL2.1. Produir, per mitjà de l'aplicació d'estratègies d’expressió oral, textos monològics o dialògics d'extensió mitjana, comprensibles i estructurats, en diferents suports, sobre temes generals o més específics, en els àmbits personal, públic i educatiu i ocupacional, en un registre formal, informal o neutre, encara que a vegades hi haja pauses, vacil·lacions i rectificacions.

4t. LA.BL2.1.1.

Produeix o

coprodueix, de manera autònoma, textos comprensibles i estructurats,

monològics o

dialògics, de diverses tipologies, sobre temes generals o menys habituals, a viva veu o enregistrats en format digital àudio o vídeo, encara que a vegades hi haja pauses, vacil·lacions i rectificacions, utilitzant les estratègies

d’expressió oral, en els àmbits personal,


Exercise 1.3.

Exercise 2.1.

Exercise 2.2.

Test: participation is taken into account.

Proceeding: direct observation of the students’ level of involvement and accuracy in their speech.


Checklist 1, Rubric 1 and checklist 2.




públic, educatiu i ocupacional.

Exercise 1.5.

Exercise 1.6.

Exercise 1.7.

Exercise 2.4.

Exercise 2.5.

Exercise 3.2.

Exercise 3.4.

Exercise 2.1.

Exercise 6.1 Exercise 6.2.

Establiment i manteniment de la comunicació i organització del discurs:

rectificar el que s’ha dit o parafrasejar-ho per a solucionar un problema de comunicació.

Descripció de qualitats físiques i abstractes de persones, objectes, llocs i activitats.

Narració d’esdeveniments passats puntuals i habituals, descripció d’estats i situacions presents, i expressió de successos futurs.

Relació d’accions en el temps.

Petició i oferiment d’informació, indicacions, opinions i punts de vista.

Expressió d’advertències i avisos.

Identificació personal.

4t.LA.BL2.3. Produir o coproduir textos orals de longitud mitjana, en diferents suports, coherents adequats al propòsit comunicatiu, utilitzant els coneixements sobre funcions, patrons discursius, organització textual, estructures morfosintàctiques i lèxic, expressions o modismes d’ús freqüent o més específic, amb sentit estètic i creativitat.


Produeix o

coprodueix textos orals utilitzant les estructures

morfosintàctiques i discursives adequades al nivell, de manera que permeta un discurs clar, articulat i fluid.


Definició o reformulació d’un terme o expressió.

Petició d’ajuda. Tècniques d’expressió oral (assenyalar objectes, usar díctics o realitzar accions que aclarisquen el significat).

Ús del llenguatge corporal culturalment pertinent:

gestos, expressions facials,

4t.LA.BL2.4. Utilitzar en situacions de comunicació habituals o menys habituals, clarament estructurades i en diferents suports, amb l’ajuda de models, les estratègies i els recursos lingüístics i paralingüístics propis de la interacció oral, encara que es depenga en gran manera


Utilitza, de manera autònoma, tècniques lingüístiques com la

definició o

reformulació d’un terme o expressió o paratextuals i paralingüístiques, com ara els recursos




postures, contacte visual o corporal, proxèmica.

Interacció oral: fórmules o gestos simples per a prendre o cedir el torn de paraula.

Usar sons extralingüístics i qualitats prosòdiques convencionals.

de l’actuació de l’interlocutor

audiovisuals o la proxèmica.

WRITTEN COMPREHENSION Estratègies de comprensió.

Mobilització d’informació prèvia sobre tipus de tasca i tema. Intercanvi d’idees sobre el tema i

formulació d’una

interpretació raonable Distinció de tipus de comprensió.

Sentit general, informació essencial, punts principals, detalls rellevants en una varietat major de textos més complexos.

Comprensió del text per mitjà de la connexió, comparació i contrast d’idees amb el coneixement i experiències pròpies, amb altres textos i amb el món exterior.

Formulació d’hipòtesis sobre contingut i context i

estructura del text.

Capacitat per a deduir i traure conclusions sobre el que no està explícit en el text.

4t LA. BL3.1. Identificar, per mitjà de l'aplicació d'estratègies de comprensió escrita, la informació essencial, les idees principals i els detalls més rellevants en textos d'extensió mitjana, continus i discontinus, en diferents suports, en un registre formal, informal o neutre, sobre temes generals o més específics en els àmbits personal, públic, educatiu i ocupacional


Distingeix la informació essencial, les idees principals en textos sobre temes generals o menys habituals, en els àmbits personal, públic, educatiu i ocupacional

CCLI Exercise 1.2.

Exercise 1.4.

Exercise 2.3.

Exercise 3.3.

Test: participation is taken into account.

Proceeding: direct observation of the students’ level of involvement and knowledge of the content of the written text.


Checklist 1 and Rubric 1.



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